Winning the War and Losing the Peace

Conservatives and Republicans tut-tutting along with Dems over what amounts to the latest excuse for why Hillary lost the election are setting themselves up for coming legislative defections and defeats.

The campaign didn’t end on election night. That’s the message for America from the bipartisan uniparty headquartered in Washington, D.C.—the one that Trump supporters voted to evict on November 8. Having lost the election they’re back with a new narrative, the sole goal of which is to undermine the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency before he even takes office.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the lengths to which the Left will go to retain their grip on power. As a people for whom politics largely has replaced religion as the source of meaning in their lives, it’s all they’ve got. But their enablers and fellow-travelers on the #NeverTrump Right are more surprising and, in their own way, more pathetic.

Recall that Hillary Clinton was more than a little reticent about conceding defeat in the face of an overwhelming loss. Her much touted but evanescent “blue wall” collapsed becoming the least effective defensive obstacle since France’s Maginot Line. Reporting since the election tells us that she was in an uncontrollable rage and could not even muster the grace to address the thousands of supporters waiting for her in the Jacob Javitz Center in New York or the millions of Americans watching on television.

Shortly after the election the Clintons and their friends on the Left allied themselves with Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s absurd effort to recount ballots in a handful of states that Clinton lost (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan). Stein claimed that her motivation was to “ensure the integrity of our elections.” Tellingly, she had no interest in the integrity of elections in states that Clinton won by surprisingly small margins like New Hampshire and Minnesota.

Stein asserted in multiple lawsuits seeking to force recounts (she missed the statutory deadline to request a recount in Pennsylvania and so was forced into Court) that voting machines had been hacked. Every court that heard these claims denied them because of a lack of evidence. Got that? Stein and Clinton had their day in court and were denied relief because their claims lacked evidence. In fact, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond said in his ruling that the claim of hacking “borders on the irrational.”

When the recount strategy fell apart for lack of evidence the narrative morphed from hacked voting machines to “Russian hackers” and a “hacked election.” It’s a claim that’s meant to sound terrible while remaining vague enough to avoid refutation. It’s also a phrase that doesn’t really mean anything and that’s the point. Because it’s real purpose is to stoke despondent Clinton voters’ resentments and leave them with the impression that Donald Trump’s presidency is somehow illegitimate. The claims are a savvy way of preparing the political battlefield and give Democrats some leverage in their uphill battle to stop Trump from enacting his agenda.

Still, on the eve of Donald Trump’s presidency, a presidency that is paired with a Republican controlled Congress and can accomplish so much good, it is frustrating to watch stubborn NeverTrump conservative intellectuals and pundits play the part of useful idiots. The wildly overblown claims of a “hacked election” are a totally transparent trap baited and set by the Left to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency and stymie his agenda. But their ideology, which has been reduced to mere negation of all things Trump, blinds them to the trap set by the likes of Van Jones, John Podesta, and Chuck Schumer.

The claims of a “hacked election” are nothing more than warmed over stories about the emails from the DNC and John Podesta’s Gmail account that WikiLeaks released in the summer and fall. The entire country knew all about this before the election and concluded that the story was not who did the hacking—everyone knew the emails had been hacked—but the information contained in the emails.

The fact that the scandals, dirty tricks, and potentially illegal activity revealed by those emails turned many Americans off on the notoriously distrusted and disliked Hillary Clinton cannot be blamed on Vladimir Putin, WikiLeaks, or anyone else. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Democrats themselves.

Ultimately, their goal is to take a scalp or two by defeating some of Trump’s cabinet nominees, especially Senator Jeff Sessions who is widely hated and feared on the Left, and to slow the repeal of Obamacare. The only way they can do this is by driving a wedge between Trump and some of the weaker members of the Republican caucus in Congress. They hope that endless repetition of the “hacked election” claim will leave behind a taint of illegitimacy that will become the wedge they can use. This is especially so in the Senate where Democrats have their sights on Senators like McCain, Flake, Graham, and Snowe who have demonstrated a preternatural desire to buck their own party.

Republicans should see Democrat claims for what they are: a brazen attempt to gain political advantage by creating a phony crisis of confidence. Trump voters won a resounding victory on November 8 but NeverTrump conservatives threaten to lose the peace by playing into the Democrats’ cynical attempt to blame foreign intelligence agencies, rogue states, and lone wolves for their loss. Hacking of government systems and political operatives has been happening for decades. It’s an important security issue but it’s not news.

The real story is the corruption and shady deals that the hacked emails exposed. The American people understand this—it’s one of the reasons they elected Donald Trump. Let’s hope Trump’s critics on the Right figure this out before they hand Democrats any unearned victories.

About Chris Buskirk

Chris is publisher and editor of American Greatness and the host of The Chris Buskirk Show. He was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute and received a fellowship from the Earhart Foundation. Chris is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses in financial services and digital marketing. He is a frequent guest on NPR's "Morning Edition." His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Hill, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @TheChrisBuskirk

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20 responses to “Winning the War and Losing the Peace”

  1. No rational reason exists for contentious hearings for Cabinet positions. Dems removed the filibuster, so it’s majority rules. We are the majority. Open the hearing. Take the vote. Close the hearing and send it to the Floor. Let them know in advance there won’t be airtime for nonsensical blather. Just vote it.

    • McCain and Graham don’t need a rational reason, they just need a chance to get camera time.

      • At best, McCain and Graham could throw it into a 50/50 split with Pence casting the tiebreaker. These irrelevant, discredited neoconservatives need their mics cut along with the Democrats. You are right. Ram everything through and ignore the castrated, inconsequential government-controlled media.

  2. Here, here. Donald Trump has shown an ability to play these folks like the boss he is, fortunately.
    The only perceived error thus far was the President-elect’s post-election coolness to a special prosecutor for Hillary Clinton. Since Trump has amply demonstrated the ability to stay on offense, his earlier statements on this front were puzzling. There have been signs recently, though, that he is letting the matter be decided by his United States Attorney. It likely isn’t coincidence the FBI has leaked in recent days that the investigation of the Clinton Foundation, which may have funneled money to some of the very Republicans you mentioned, is an ongoing enterprise.
    Either Trump will play the Clintons like cat toys and keep the Democrats and the #NeverTrump scum off balance the next few years, or Obama will issue a pardon. Either way he wins and they lose, possibly for the rest of our lives. The “Russian hacking” fantasy has been rejected by the American people and caused some fortunate collateral damage to our corrupt and incompetent CIA. The Clintons and the financial and national security crimes associated with them are quite real and can be used to hammer all Trump opponents mercilessly. In fact, if a pardon pre-empts justice, I’m certain Jason Chaffetz will show the #NeverTrumpers and Democrats why they made such a fatal mistake not accepting the will of the American people.

  3. Donald Trump has shown an amazing ability to get the job done on time and way under budget in winning the GOP nomination and the presidency. We can expect PRESIDENT Donald Trump to show similar skills in enacting his agenda.

  4. Let’s think about this for a minute. I believe most Americans have election fatigue. It was a long race and they are ready to move on. We have the sore losers that refuse to do so. Can you imagine how fed up people will be with these losers after two or three more months of whining? They will become increasingly marginalized.

    • I’ll venture to guess that their marginalization will be in distinct lockstep with how the Trump White House reacts to what it encounters.

  5. Very simply two things are required. In the short term President Trump needs to outwit the huge forces aligned against him – and that includes all the RINOs. In the slightly longer term voters need to oust RINOs from the Congress and their party organisation nationwide and replace them with true patriots who care about saving the United States from becoming a Third World country regularly attacked by Islamic terrorism.

    This includes switching off the Mainstream Media, abandoning subscriptions to the Leftie Press, and resorting to other forms of news reportage and commentary.

    Once the traitors throughout the top of society lose their jobs and therewith their power, their importance, ‘Liberalism’ (i.e. totalitarian nihilism) will become tremendously unfashionable.

    It’s up to the People, isn’t it?

  6. I guess I’m more cynical than Chris. The anti-Trumpians on the right aren’t mistakenly falling into a trap, but consciously collaborating with the globalist left. They take their orders from the plutocracy not their constituents, and they want President Trump to fail.

  7. Olympia Snow is no longer a Senator. Angus King has her seat. I think you mean Susan Collins.

  8. McCain and Graham: Cotton Hill and George Hamilton’s even-gayer brother. Two permanent features of the swamp that will hopefully be drained.

  9. Staying on offense should include forming a nationwide network of grassroots committees to support the Trump agenda at the Congressional District level. The two national organizations in the news appear to be focused on a much hugher level of lobbying and issue education–although details so far are scanty. I have been floating this idea since 3 AM on November 9th, but I am too far down the food chain for it to have received much attention.